Review of NorthShore Country Club Golf Course in Portland Texas
If you're anywhere near Portland you need to find some time to play NorthShore Country Club Golf Course – it's fun, very demanding but fair, scenic, and has two very unique nines, The brochure states "this premier golf course in the Coastal Bend area is a championship links style course that features golfing along the shores of Corpus Christi Bay, reminiscent of the many famous ocean front golf courses in the United States."
The front nine is a very traditional links course with water on all nine holes, huge fairway bunkers, six dogs both left and right, heavily contoured fairways with berms and mounds, and some very unique, interesting, challenging, and fun holes, for example:
- #1 has a contoured fairway that heads left than right over a depression and past two bunkers to a raised green
- several holes have pinched landing zones (thanks to bunkers, mounds, water, or natural areas) that demand some precise shots
- #7 is a 170 yard par 3 with water along the left from tee to green as well as water surrounding three quarters of the raised and countoured green
- number 9 is a good example of a fun hole – a 394 yard par 4 that horseshoes right offering a good risk reward shot off the tee box – but you better be accurate to carry the natural area, avoid the line of trees, and miss the huge fairway bunker; then you have a tough approach to a green protected by 4 bunkers.
The back nine at NorthShore Country Club is completely different from the front – it' still has a links feel but it's much tighter, has water on 8 holes, and has 4 holes that play along Corpus Christi Bay. Every hole on this nine is very different from the proceeding hole and each hole has something that will test your game – narrow landing zones and carries off the tee box, very demanding approach shots to the greens, strategically placed bunkers, and several shots where you need to decide to lay up or take a risk and go for it. The first three holes on the back are fantastic as they play alongside some beautiful homes on the right side of the fairway and Corpus Christi Bay and trees on the left and require some strategic shot making and accuracy over distance.
On #13, our jaw dropped as we stared at this beauty – from an elevated tee box you have a panoramic view of Corpus Christi Bay and downtown Corpus as you ponder which club you need to use to carry a deep ravine and inlet from the bay to a small downhill green 181 yards away that sits on the edge of the bay and is protected by the bay, the inlet, and a front and back bunker – a beautiful hole and very unique to Texas. And 14 and 15 are just as scenic plus they are fun and challenging with forced carries, narrow rolling fairways, bunkers, palm trees, natural grass areas, and ravines as they play along the Bay and below some huge beautiful homes sitting along a tall bluff overlooking the Corpus Christi Bay and downtown Corpus Christi. As you play along these three holes with views of the bay, the beautiful homes, natural areas, and the swaying palm trees, you’ll start to think you’re in Hawaii or playing Pebble Beach – well, maybe not quite that beautiful, but you get the picture. Then 16 snaps you from fairyland and back to Texas reality as it returns to the normal flat Texas coastal terrain.
The greens at NorthShore Country Club were in good condition and ran a good speed of around 10 or, so. They are a variety of shapes and sizes and have some gentle slope and minor undulation. Most of the greens are elevated which makes it very difficult to bump and run and your approach shot needs to bite and hold or you’ll roll back off the green.
The Northshore Country Club fairways weren’t in very good condition and had some weeds plus lots of brown and bare spots. The same was true of the rough. The back nine seemed to be in much better condition. The fairways range from tight to ample, are contoured and rolling, and have significant mounding.
The good news is that a new superintendent is on board and since we last played he has made significant progress in improving the conditions which were in very rough conditions due to the drought, a lack of funds, and poor maintenance – all of which has now changed.
The bunkers are everywhere and range from small to some monsters. They were in average condition with thick sand.
Bottom line – if you can overlook the conditions, particularly on the front, this course is unique and a blast to play.
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Service is good, the pro shop has the basics, and the clubhouse has a dining and a bar area. Practice facilities are adequate.